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January 27, 2020

Simona Halep

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

S. HALEP/E. Mertens

6-4, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Before we talk about the tennis, would you be willing to talk a bit about the Kobe Bryant death and your thoughts on him?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, I have been affected when I saw the TV in the morning, was actually the first thing that I saw.

Yeah, I feel really sad about this. It's a huge loss for the world, for the sport. I mean, for the family, I think it's even -- I cannot have, like, described this to lose one person. It's terrible to lose more than one. It's tragedy.

So all my thoughts to the family, and I don't know how they can feel a little bit better, but it's a tough moment for the world. I feel so sad about it.

Q. Given the way that, in particular, the Doha final went between the both of you where you had that set and a break lead and she was able to come back and win, how much of that was on your mind today when again you had that lead and she started to storm back a little bit?
SIMONA HALEP: Well, yeah, I had in my head she came back in that match, and I have just to pay attention on every ball, not giving up at all, because she can come back strong.

But I was, mentally I think I did a great job today at 4-All with those breakpoints, game points.

But in the end, I got the game and then I served very well the last game. I feel like I played a better match than all the matches since I'm here.

I feel happy about that, and I'm trying just to stay focused. I like how I feel (smiling).

Q. Have you had a chance to look at the following match to see who you're playing next?
SIMONA HALEP: No, I just saw the score. It's a set up for Swiatek. I don't watch. My coaches are watching, and then we talk about it. But tomorrow, not today. Today is a rest day.

Q. What do you know about Swiatek, the girl from Poland?
SIMONA HALEP: We played together in French Open. It was good match for me, but definitely here is going to be different. I'll be ready. She's young. She has nothing to lose. Actually, I have nothing to lose, the same.

I'm just going there and do my job, because I really feel good. I feel prepared to face her.

Q. After the loss in Adelaide, I'm curious, was there concern about the state of your game, the state of your fitness? Because you were quite tired in that match. How pleased are you to get through to the quarterfinals here without losing a set?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, I got a little bit down with my head after that loss. I felt tired when I came here. I don't know why. Maybe because I stress myself too much, and I just lost the energy.

But then, after the first match, I got the energy back and I felt like my game is going at the higher level. I feel good.

So since I started to feel good, my body, I started to be positive and to play with pleasure.

Q. In Adelaide, the tiredness, was it from your preseason work you were doing off the court?
SIMONA HALEP: I don't really know why I was tired. I did off-season in Dubai. I worked hard. Then I had few days off home. Then I arrived on 2nd of January in Adelaide and I worked pretty hard every day.

I don't really know exactly what happened. Yeah, maybe mentally I was a little bit stressed. And I lost energy, as I said, day by day and when I had to start the tournament, I was, like, down.

So, yeah, but now it's good and I don't want to think about that anymore (smiling).

Q. We learned today that there is going to be coaching from the stands allowed on the WTA Tour. Wondering whether you think that's going to help you?
SIMONA HALEP: I hope Darren doesn't do that what I do to him now, doesn't do back to me, because it's gonna be tough.

Well, I thought a little bit about it when I heard it today. I don't know what to say. It's going to be interesting. I didn't have this experience. Maybe in juniors, but also, we had rules that we cannot talk with the coaches. But let's wait and see. I'm open to it.

Q. Have you had instances in the past where you have heard your opponent being coached from the stands or seen it or anything like that?
SIMONA HALEP: No, because on the big courts it's tough to hear. When I'm in my zone, I don't even hear my coach when he just says, like, Come on, Simona, or something.

No, I didn't have this problem.

Q. What if you play Kontaveit? Since we have asked you about Swiatek. What do you think the challenge will be there? She beat Belinda quickly the other day and seems to be playing quite well after being sick for a few months.
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, I heard about that match. It was very quick. But I'm sure Belinda was not in her great shape.

So that's a good match for Kontaveit. I don't know if we played together. Probably once.

She's strong. I'm here just to face any challenge I have. So I'm not thinking negative about the game. I just want to go there and to give my best. This is everything I have in my mind.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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